Belgium arrests two brothers suspected of plotting attack

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Published on Jul 31, 2016 06:25 AM IST
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ByAgence France­-Presse

BRUSSELS: Belgian police arrested two men and charged one of them for plotting a terror attack in Belgium as Europe remained on the edge on Saturday following a rising wave of jihadist bloodshed on the continent.

An investigating judge charged Nourredine H, 33, with attempting to commit “terrorist murder” and “taking part in the activities of a terrorist organisation,” the federal prosecutor’s office said. It said the charges come in the “case opened concerning a possible terrorist attack in Belgium.”

Noureddine H and his brother Hamza H were arrested after the police raided houses late on Friday in Belgium’s French-speaking areas of Mons and Liege, federal prosecutors said.

The prosecutor’s office said there was for now no connection with the bombings on March 22 at Brussels airport and a metro station near the European Union headquarters that left 32 people dead. Those attacks were claimed by Islamic State.

No weapons or explosives were found in Friday’s raids ordered by a judge specialising in counter-terror cases, it said.

Several of those involved in the Brussels bloodshed were directly linked to the November 13 bombing and gun attacks in Paris which left 130 dead and were also claimed by the Islamic State.

Belgian authorities last month charged two men with terrorist offences amid reports of a planned attack on a Euro 2016 fan zone in central Brussels.

Belgium then beefed up security for its July 21 national day celebrations after the truck attack that killed 84 people in the French city of Nice on Bastille Day, July 14.

The authorities in Belgium, which hosts the headquarters of the 28-nation European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, had previously anticipated a possible truck-style attack before the Nice carnage.

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